On September 9, 2008 at 11:32 pm, Lyon County Sheriff’s Deputies along with the North Lyon County Fire Department were dispatch to Taco Bell -- 170 Highway 95A Fernley, Nevada for a report of an object on fire on the sidewalk in front of Taco Bell. While Deputies and fire personnel were en-route, dispatch advised they had taken several additional calls that the old Black Jack Motors building located at 185 Highway 95A in Fernley (Across the street from Taco Bell) was also on fire.
When Deputies arrived on scene, they found the fire located at Taco Bell was already extinguished; however the west side of Black Jack Motors was on fire and rapidly spreading. Fire personnel arrived on scene and were able to quickly put the fire out and contained the damage to the west side of the building. Fire Department Officials estimated that 20% of the building burned and it should be salvageable. Deputies received information from several witnesses who stated that they witnessed a white male subject start the fire and leave the area on Foot towards the Hwy 95A / Hwy 50A roundabout. Deputies located a subject matching the description provided by the witnesses near the roundabout.
Deputies contacted James Daniel Rios, 19 year old Fernley resident. During a subsequent interview, RIOS confessed to setting both fires after he purchased a small amount of gasoline at a nearby gas station. Deputies arrested RIOS and he was transported to the Lyon County Jail without incident. The Nevada State Fire Marshall’s Office also responded and is investigating the building and checking for additional evidence. They will be on scene throughout the night collecting evidence and conducting follow-up investigation.
Black Jack Motors has been closed down for several years. No one was inside the building that caught fire and no injuries were reported during this incident. Detectives and fire investigators will continue to investigate this fire today and attempt to determine if RIOS was involved with any additional fires in the area. If anyone witnessed this incident take place of has any additional information please contact the Lyon County Sheriff’s Office at (775) 577-5023 or Secret Witness (775) 322-4900.
RIOS was booked into the Lyon County Jail on 2nd Degree Arson and his bail is set at $ 25,000. Contact the Lyon County Jail at (775) 463-6615 for a booking photo of RIOS.
No additional information at this time.
Sergeant Ryan Powell
Lyon County Sheriff’s Office